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Health Matters

Baby on the way: the first 3 months

26/10/2015

You can already listen to the baby’s heartbeat, a breathless beat, two-times faster than the mother’s heartbeat. The bony skeleton begins to form. By the end of 12 weeks, the baby weighs about 14gr and is the size of a lemon. Constant and rapid changes occur in the first 3 months.

In this article, we have gathered useful information related to exams, indications and contraindications, advises and alert signs to consider during the first 3 months of pregnancy.


1. | EXAMS |


The first ultrasound occurs between 11 and 14 weeks. This exam aims to date the pregnancy, evaluate foetal structures and screen for malformations. The 1st trimester combined screening is performed between 8 and 13 weeks+6 days, consisting on the evaluation of analytical parameters and echocardiographic data that calculate the risk for chromosomal anomalies.


2. | PHYSICAL ACTIVITY |


Being pregnant doesn’t mean being sedentary. On the opposite, physical activity helps future moms to feel better during this stage.

However, there are some precautions:

  • Avoid high impact activities. Walking and Water Aerobics are highly recommended

  • Drink water before and after exercising

If you feel any alert signs or dizziness, fainting, difficulty to breath or irregular heartbeat, contact your health care provider.


3. | COMFORT |


Your belly will start to grow and, naturally, what you wear should adapt to this growth. At this stage it won’t be imposing (as it will in the following trimesters) but comfort should always prevail.

Clothing should be practical, loose and adapted to your belly, legs and ankles size, in order to avoid compression of blood vessels and consequent swelling of lower limbs.

You should wear a cotton bra that supports your breast weight and is size suitable so that your nipples won’t be compressed or irritated.

Footwear should be comfortable: don’t wear flat pumps or heels more than 4cm high.


4. | EATING |


Quality over quantity, this should be the principle during pregnancy. The idea that pregnant women should “eat for 2” is wrong.

Here are some advices for healthy and appropriate eating for two:


  • Do not extend morning fasting for more than 15 to 20 minutes

  • Eat a great variety of foods, fresh and light, and avoid spicy or fat-rich foods

  • Avoid excessive consumption of sweets

  • Eat many times a day: 6 to 8, little at a time

  • Soft drinks are unsuitable

  • Drink, at least, 1,5l of water per day and, if possible, between meals

  • If you are not immune to toxoplasmosis, carefully wash your hands before and after preparing your food: raw meats should always be well done and fruits and vegetables properly washed.


During pregnancy, weight should be gained gradually:


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At the end, total weight gain should be around 9 to 12kg.


5. | DISCOMFORTS IN PREGNANCY |


If you feel:


  1. Nausea and vomiting

  2. Tiredness / Fatigue / Sleepiness

  3. Dizziness and Fainting

  4. Breast tenderness

  5. Frequent need to urinate

  6. Vaginal discharge

  7. Pelvic, head, or back pain...


… What should you do?


  1. Eat a cookie before going to bed and before getting up, chewing it slowly. Distribute your meals throughout the day. Stay away from environments with nausea-provoking smells. Cook simple meals, avoid fried and spiced foods. Eat solid foods at a lukewarm temperature.

  2. Extend your night sleep period and have small rests during the day. If your tiredness doesn’t ease, contact you practitioner or nurse.

  3. Avoid crowds and hot environments. Avoid sudden changes of position as well as going for long hours without eating. If you feel dizzy, lower your head or lie down with your legs up.

  4. Use a bra that’s suitable for your breast size and with wide straps.

  5. Drink lots of liquids during the day and don’t spend many hours without emptying your bladder. If you feel discomfort, contact your practitioner.

  6. Your vaginal discharge should be colourless and odourless. Do not use vaginal antiseptics or pantiliners.

  7. For headache relief, you may take an analgesic prescribed by your health care provider. For the relief of pelvic and back pain, resting is the best option.


6.  | ALERT SIGNS |


Finally, beware of these alert signs:

  • Bleeding

  • Persistent abdominal pain

  • Fever

  • Repeated contractions that don’t ease when resting

  • Loss of amniotic fluid

  • Vaginal discharge with itching and burning

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Pain or burning feeling when urinating

  • Very swollen face and limbs when waking up

We hope this information will be useful for you in this 9 month journey!

At Joaquim Chaves Saúde you will find Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialists, appropriate equipment for all necessary exams and nursing appointments, all for a perfect monitoring of your pregnancy.

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